employee receiving support from HR leader

In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision in Alabama, many of your employees may be struggling. The constant news cycle can be triggering, especially for those currently navigating a fertility and family building journey or who have been through one. It may hinder their ability to show up and perform at their best at work. 

As a fertility, family building, and women’s health benefits provider, we want to ensure that you have the tools and resources you need to support your team. From fostering open communication, to highlighting mental health resources within the company’s arsenal, you have a vital role in supporting those who may be directly affected. 

We asked Cassandra Pratt, Chief Human Resources Officer at Progyny, to share a few ways you can support your team:  

  1. Foster open communication and create a supportive environment: By acknowledging recent news, you can encourage open and honest communication with your employees. Let them know that you and other leaders within the organization are available to discuss any concerns or emotions they may be experiencing. This can lend itself to a supportive and empathetic work environment where employees feel comfortable expressing their emotions and seeking support. 
  1. Validate emotions: When employees do share their feelings, validate your employees’ emotions, creating a safe space for further discussions. Avoid dismissing or minimizing their feelings. Let them know that it’s okay to feel upset, anxious, or overwhelmed in response to difficult news events. 
  1. Provide resources: Offer resources to help employees cope with stress and anxiety. This may include your company’s Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or other counseling services. If your employees have access to Progyny and need support in their fertility and family building journey, encourage them to reach out to their dedicated Patient Care Advocate for support.   
  1. Check in regularly: If an employee is struggling, consider scheduling regular check-ins with your team members to see how they’re doing. These check-ins can be informal conversations or more structured one-to-one meetings, depending on what works best for your team. This can help reinforce that you are there for your team and team members. 
  1. Be flexible: Be flexible with work schedules and deadlines, if possible, to accommodate employees who may need extra time to process their emotions or take care of themselves during difficult times.  
  1. Encourage self-care: Emphasize the importance of self-care and encourage employees to prioritize activities that help them find balance. This may include spending time with loved ones, engaging in hobbies, or doing some form of physical activity like going for a walk. 
  1. Celebrate small victories: Recognize and celebrate small victories and accomplishments within your team, even during challenging times. This can help boost morale and provide a sense of positivity amid difficult circumstances.  

We know some employees may not want to discuss what they’re going through with their manager, and some will. By taking these steps, people leaders and managers can create a supportive and empathetic workplace culture that helps employees navigate difficult times and news cycles with resilience and compassion.   

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